Peter Margasak, ‘Chicago Reader’ 06/18/13

Best Music School for Graduating Contemporary Jazz Greats
DePaul’s music department has long been one of the strongest in the Chicago area, and in recent years a remarkable number of musicians who’ve spent time in its jazz program have ascended to the national stage. Not everyone on this list graduated, but there’s no disputing the talent and vision of the players who’ve been touched by DePaul’s faculty: saxophonists Jon Irabagon, Matana Roberts, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Nate Lepine, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, trombonist Nick Broste, guitarist Jon Lundbom, and cellist Tomeka Reid, to say nothing of experimental types such as Jim O’Rourke and Greg Davis.”

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Dave Wayne, ‘All About Jazz’ 02/23/13

“Certainly not straight-ahead jazz, decidedly not fusion, and not really free-jazz either, guitarist/composer Jon Lundbom and his [sic] Big Five Chord have taken a decidedly idiosyncratic path that simultaneously eschews and embraces all of these sub-genres, while largely rejecting their collective stylistic baggage. This judiciously iconoclastic individualism is what one can expect from Lundbom… [Lundbom] is a wildly unpredictable and aggressive soloist. Occasionally there’s a soupçon of Scofield’s bluesy phrasing, something especially evident on ‘The Bad! Thing.’ The frantic rapid fire stutters and manic strumming on ‘Talent for Surrender’ brings edgier players such as James Blood Ulmer and Sonny Sharrock to mind. On ‘The Other Third One,’ Lundbom waxes both brainy and raucous… ‘No New Tunes’ virtually crackles with excitement and, well, newness.”

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George W. Harris, ‘Jazz Weekly’ 01/18/13

“Here’s some new and original music delivered in both an old and new school fashion. …the styles vary as quickly as you can lift the stylus. There’s a freedom on ‘The Bad! Thing’ and ‘Of Being Done To’ that is reminiscent of Charles Mingus’ vintage works, with the addition of thunderous rock arena drumming thrown in as well as some Eric Dolphy-inspired sax soloing… Mixtures of chaos and creativity abound here, and the tug of war makes for interesting listening.”

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Grego Appelgate Edwards, ‘Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog’ 12/19/12

“Not only is Jon Lundbom a jazz-contemporary electric guitarist at the forefront of new practice, his band Big Five Chord, individually and collectively, is one of the most important around today. And their latest, ‘No New Tunes,’ is perhaps the strongest album yet. …[Lundbom] gets plenty of chances to show that he can (and does) line with originality and edge. He turns in some beautiful solos here.”

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Josh Langhoff, ‘Surfing in Babylon’ 12/11/12

WORTH IT IN 2012: #30
“The two saxophonists deploy their arsenal of effects (birdcalls, sneezes, I dunno what) with glee and a sense of provocation; Lundbom switches between clear, suede-toned ruminating and distorted mayhem; the rhythm section remains, for the most part, in their bedrock pocket. Though they play some solid heads, you won’t walk around humming any new tunes if you buy this album, but it’s a really good time.”

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Delarue, ‘Lucid Culture’ 10/26/12

“‘No New Tunes’ is considerably subtler [than ‘Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!’]. It’s not particularly easy listening. Nothing ends with any kind of resolution. Tonalities lean toward harsh veering on abrasive; structures fall apart on a moment’s notice, but more elegantly than you would expect…it’s cool to see how these guys have such confidence in what they’re doing that they refuse to take each other seriously.”

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